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TO   THE   LIGHTHOUSE

authority upon the carpet in the darkness, tracing

its pattern, came now in the softer light of spring

mixed with moonlight gliding gently as if it laid

its caress and lingered stealthily and looked and

came lovingly again.   But in the very lull of this

loving caress, as the long stroke leant upon the

bed, the rock was rent asunder;  another fold of

the shawl loosened;   there it hung, and swayed.

Through the short summer nights and the long

summer days, when the empty rooms seemed to

murmur with the echoes of the fields and the hum

of flies, the long streamer waved gently, swayed

aimlessly; while the sun so striped and barred the

rooms and filled them with yellow haze that Mrs,

McNab, when she broke in and lurched about,

dusting,  sweeping,  looked  like  a  tropical  fish

oaring its way through sun-lanced waters.

But slumber and sleep though it. might there
came later in the summer ominous sounds like the
measured blows of hammers dulled on felt, which,
with their repeated shocks still further loosened
the shawl and cracked the tea-cups. Now and
again some glass tinkled in the cupboard as if a
giant voice had shrieked so loud in its agony that
tumblers stood inside a cupboard vibrated too.
Then again silence fell; and then, night after
night, and sometimes in plain mid-day when the
roses were bright and light turned on the wall its
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